mindfulness in the workplace programme
SWW take part in mindfulness in the workplace programme
2020 has been a strange year. We have seen the introduction of new terminology that we would have never thought we’d use or even know what it meant… such as being ‘furloughed’ or making sure we are social distancing! We have had to queue for things we would have never thought we would have to queue for and… not be able to get a haircut or buy toilet roll! These are all fairly light-hearted things in the wake of a global pandemic, however, there has been some light during these difficult and challenging times. We have been using outdoor spaces more, appreciating the smaller things, and we have had a chance to reflect and also learn new skills… like baking sourdough or learning to play the ukulele (neither one I can claim!).
At SWW Marketing we have always loved to learn – it’s what our company is founded on. Whether it’s learning about a client’s business or a latest industry trend, we never stop! This is why we took the opportunity during this difficult time to go on an online emotional intelligence programme called the Search inside yourself leadership course.
The programme itself was developed at Google by an early Google engineer, named Meng. Meng had his own mindfulness practice and wanted to share it with his colleagues. He knew that to appeal to engineers, he needed to make the programme very practical and rooted in science, so he brought together experts in mindfulness, emotional intelligence and neuroscience to design the class. The class was wildly successful at Google and so it was spun out into a non-profit to share it with the rest of the world.
The course ran for 7 weeks with a 2-hour Zoom session each week which focused on 4 main areas:
The aim of the programme is to give individuals new skills which help in a workplace and in general day-to-day life. It helps with greater overall well-being; increasing focus and attention; building resilience in the face of challenges; unleashing creativity and innovative thinking; developing greater self-awareness and emotion regulation; helping to communicate clearly and effectively even when tackling difficult conversations and it provides tools for managing stress.
These are all vital tools for building a strong workforce that encourages creativity and out-of-the-box thinking as well as making sure we are able to have open and honest relationships, something which is key both when working with our colleagues and clients.
Also focussing on empathy within a workplace, the course made us think about how we can all learn to become more empathetic and the big difference between that and being sympathetic. Showing compassion doesn’t mean showing weakness or laying yourself open to vulnerabilities, it actually helps build better relationships all round.
There was a great quote from American zen Buddhist teacher Joan Halifax:
“Compassion may be defined as the capacity to be attentive to the experience of others, to wish the best for others, and to sense what will truly serve others.”
Another great quote was from Merriam Webster:
“An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”
Which feels very apt during these challenging times.
Building a mindful company
The tools we learnt on the course were not just of huge benefit during these tricky times but have also laid the foundations to continue to build a secure environment for people to work in.
As the course was delivered with a scientific approach, there were some staggering facts and figures. Google’s own research found that the most important aspect of working in a team or company to a workforce is feeling psychologically comfortable over anything else, whether that’s dependability, structure and clarity, meaning or impact.
While the wellbeing of its workforce can often get overlooked, this shows that creating a nice environment for people to work in goes a long way to creating a happy and fulfilled team.
At SWW Marketing we have always been passionate about building a comfortable environment to work in that is flexible and encourages out of the box thinking.
Mental health has been a hot topic for some time now. It feels as if there has never been a more important time to not only feel comfortable about talking about how we feel, but also to have the ability to develop a genuine empathetic connection when talking to others during these times of hardship – often the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering.
We believe strongly that the skills learnt from the mindfulness course will not only benefit our team but also our clients. We have built strong relationships from the beginning which has meant we have grown to what we are now and will continue to do so using the skills from this course.
We loved the course and would strongly recommend it! These skills we have learnt during lockdown have not only already helped at SWW but with our team’s home life too!